Girl Named Charlie Scores Aggressive Victory in Miss Liberty 

May 26, 2024

Girl Named Charlie with Fernando Jara winning the Miss Liberty (Melissa Torres/EQUI-PHOTO)

Tom Luicci/Monmouth Park

OCEANPORT, N.J.— In a race with questionable true speed, jockey Fernando Jara decided an aggressive early approach with Girl Named Charlie was the way to go.

And a funny thing happened: Girl Named Charlie never stopped once she made the lead from the outset, cruising to a 1¼-length victory in Sunday’s $104,000 Miss Liberty Stakes at Monmouth Park before a holiday crowd of 13,478.

Trained by Lindsay Schultz, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Maclean’s Music put a field of seven other fillies and mares, 3 and up, to sleep throughout the course of the mile and a sixteenth turf feature.

By the time her competitors realized what was happening it was too late.

“Honestly I didn’t expect to be on the lead like that,” said Jara, who has shifted his tack to Monmouth Park for the first time this summer. “I thought (Flashndynamite) would be on the lead. But on paper it didn’t seem like there was much speed.

“Speaking with Lindsay she said if we were on the lead, it would not be a problem. This filly was ready to run today. She broke so well, then I just tried to slow it down as much as I could. When I took the lead, and she was traveling nice and easy I felt good.”

The winning time over a grass course listed as firm was 1:40.94. Girl Named Charlie paid $9.60 to win.

Alpha Bella, trained by Todd Pletcher and coming off a Grade 3 turf win at a mile and a half, chased the winner to no avail. It was another 1¾ lengths back to the Chad Brown-trained Tax Implications in third.

Girl Named Charlie posted the third win of her 4-year-old campaign and her fifth in 16 career starts for owners Jerry Caroom and Jeffrey Lambert. The victory carried the added bonus of a free entry and start fees to the Grade 3 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes on the NYRA Bets Haskell Stakes undercard on July 20.

Trainer Lindsay Schultz all smiles after Girl Named Charlie wins the Miss Liberty (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

“I wasn’t that surprised we were on the lead like that,” said Schultz. “(Alpha Bella) has speed but that’s at a mile and a half and longer races. We talked about the possibility of being on the lead. Fernando Jara rode her forwardly out of the gate and got her to settle really well. Obviously, it worked out.

“She’s a nice filly and plenty capable. She’s pretty versatile. If you let her get into a good rhythm, she’ll fire.”

Jara and Girl Named Charlie loped through early fractions of :24.39, :49.13 and 1:12.20 through six furlongs.

“With the way the fractions where I knew she would have plenty left for me,” said Jara.

Schultz said she would wait before making a decision on the WinStar Matchmaker Stakes.

“We’ll see how she comes out of this,” said Schultz. “She’s run two really tough races in a row. She’s doing well right now, so we’ll take our time and see.”

Racing resumes on Monday with an eight-race card topped by the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes. First race post time is 12:50 p.m.

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